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Letter to Mayor Mike Rotkin For A Resolution in Support of Wikileaks & Whistleblowers
I sent the following e-mail to outgoing Mayor Mike Rotkin (a new Mayor will be chosen on December 14th). I enclosed a S.F. Chron story about the Berkeley City Council considering a resolution backing Bradley Manley, the whistleblower behind the Wikileaks revelations. My letter urges Rotkin to propose a Resolution supporting Manley, Assange, & Wikileaks at the Tuesday Council meeting.
From: rnorse3 [at] hotmail.com
To: openup [at] ucsc.edu
CC: cityycouncil [at] cityofsantacruz.com; meadowwolf [at] baymoon.com; becky_johnson222 [at] hotmail.com; spleich [at] gmail.com; parnold [at] bridgemysteries.com
Subject: Introduce an Emergency Resolution Supporting the Rights of Journalists (Wikileaks) and Whistleblowers (Bradley Manning)
Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2010 11:03:03 -0800
Mike: Berkeley City Council (see somewhat slanted story below) is, as you probably know, considering a resolution supporting Manning, the patriot accused of doing a Daniel Ellsberg-style massive leak of incriminating documents. Reversing the war and repression hysteria in this country needs to be one of our local priorities as well. Please introduce a resolution urging an end to the As Mayor and elder parliamentarian, you are in a particularly strong position to do this.
It would also be timely to present a resolution supporting Julian Assange, considering the unprecedented world-wide attack on him.
Since your Democratic Party colleagues seem more interested in expanding rather than ending the criminal aggression abroad and the National Security State at home, it looks like we have to rely on individuals like Manley, Assange, and Wikileaks--and the ultimate outrage of the American people. If you won't defend groups trying to expose the war crimes, how about defending freedom of the press?
As a last act before leaving office, it would show some real courage (even if you weren't successful) and give pause to your critics on the left. You know it's the right thing to do.
Please don't tell me you can't add this to the agenda as an emergency item (since that is what would be needed at this late point). If legalizing juggling was an "emergency" (which you did in the summer of 2003), this certainly qualifies.
I'm cc-ing and bcc-ing this e-mail to various people in hopes that they'll join me in urging you to take immediate action before you retire from the Council.
Alleged leaker Bradley Manning: hero to Berkeley?
Carolyn Jones, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Pfc. Bradley Manning faces 52 years in prison if convicted.
An Army private jailed for allegedly leaking sensitive military data is a hero and should be freed, according to a resolution under consideration by the Berkeley City Council.
The council is expected to vote Tuesday on whether to declare its support for Pfc. Bradley Manning, who's suspected of providing WikiLeaks with classified military documents and a video depicting an Army helicopter attack in Baghdad in which 11 civilians were killed.
Manning, 22, currently in the brig in Quantico, Va., faces 52 years in prison if convicted. Manning has not commented on his guilt or innocence.
"If he did what he's accused of doing, he's a patriot and should get a medal," said Bob Meola, the Berkeley peace and justice commissioner who authored the resolution. "I think the war criminals should be the ones prosecuted, not the whistle-blowers."
The proposed resolution originated from the same commission that declared the Marine Corps "unwanted intruders" in Berkeley in 2008. The council's ensuing approval - and reversal - ignited some of the city's most raucous protest in years and prompted more than 25,000 e-mails to City Hall.
This time, however, the commission's vote was not unanimous. The resolution passed on a 7-3 vote, and it's likely to be just as contentious when it meets the City Council.
Commissioner Thyme Siegel was one of the three "no" votes.
"We're just sitting here in Berkeley - we don't know that Afghani informants aren't being murdered because of these leaks," she said. "Bradley Manning sounds like a very sincere person, but I'm sorry, we really do have enemies, and it's not clear at all what the effects of these WikiLeaks are."
WikiLeaks is a website that has published thousands of classified documents about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Manning allegedly provided WikiLeaks with secret data, including the 2007 "collateral murder" video of the Baghdad helicopter attack.
Berkeley's proposed resolution thanks Manning "for his courage in bringing the truth to the American people and the people of the world."
Army officials had no comment on Berkeley's resolution, but said that leaking classified data can endanger the lives of informants, provide useful information to the enemy and undermine the trust of those working with the military, according to Department of Defense spokesman Bob Mehal.
Manning might be a hero, but Berkeley should back off until the issues are sorted through on a national level, said peace and justice commissioner Jane Litman, who abstained from the Manning vote.
"I don't think we should call him a hero for something he hasn't even said he's done," she said. "Manning and the Obama administration both need to clarify their positions on this before we can take a stand."
E-mail Carolyn Jones at carolynjones [at] sfchronicle.com.
This article appeared on page C - 5 of the San Francisco Chronicle
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/07/BAL91GNB87.DTL#ixzz17dszDVWy